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I'm not sure anyone in my life would understand my compulsion. My midnight fresh starts. My shame. My cycle of hating myself and learning to try and love myself. My struggle for clear, unmarked skin, despite the constant urge to dig into it with my weapons of choice... my fingernails. But you will. All of you here will understand and empathize with EXACTLY what I'm feeling, exactly what I mean. And I'm so grateful I'm not alone. I don't know why we all have this compulsion to pick our skin.. I've read enough of this forum to know that anyone, ages youthful to old, man or woman, people from all backgrounds and all kinds of childhoods can have this affliction. It's comforting. And terrifying. Because I don't want to feel that anyone else on this earth has to feel the same self loathing that I do after I pick my skin. Yes, it's an immediate release, a quick wave of pleasure that washes over us and allows us to truly feel, truly become in touch with ourselves if only for a moment...but this is ultimately followed by a almost unbearable amount of shame and disgust. How can we do this to ourselves??! Is it that we don't want to succeed? That we're trying to sabotage this beautiful life we've found ourselves struggling in? It breaks my heart to think that I can feel this way because of something I'm doing to myself. I hate it. I hate this so so so much. And yet, the feeling somehow becomes fleeting, I forget how much I regret picking when I'm in the moment and I'm blindly tearing away at my own skin. I get lost in the tragic mirror orbit that we all know so well. The familiarity of my fingers squeezing at my skin, the lost, faraway look in my eyes that I see In the mirror when I finally break away from focusing on the imperfections on my skin. Who is this girl? Why does she hate me so much? How can I claim to have so much motivation, an undeniable amount d of self control, only to break at the slightest impulse... why. I know we all wonder this... and I know we don't all fully understand it. But deep deep deep down, I know there's a way. And I might be 23 now and have almost ten years of picking under my belt.. but I haven't lost hope. I haven't lost the notion that with enough willpower and determination, I can destroy this. Because otherwise.... it will destroy me.